One more recap, I was incredibly privileged to spend a weekend around Stephen in early October at the Laity Lodge Writer’s Retreat. And just for you, I lugged my extra copy of THE SKIN MAP 700 miles (okay, it wasn’t *that* heavy), just so he could sign it so that I CAN GIVE IT AWAY AS PART OF THE BLOG TOUR!
- You must visit my blog posts for all three days of the tour and make some sort of meaningful comment toward the discussion of that day. BE AWARE … it doesn’t matter if you’re late to the tour … go back to those days, comment, and solve the riddle! there’s STILL TIME!
- You must solve each of the riddles, and sometime before 8AM tomorrow (central standard time), provide me the answers through this Contact Form.
- Note … do not give your answers in a comment or others will see!
- If more than one person fulfills the requirements, I will hold a drawing to determine the winner.
Note #1: The riddles are progressively harder, with today being VERY HARD. Put on your sleuthing hats!
Note #2: Anyone is eligible to win the autographed book, even those that already own a copy! BUT … if you already own a copy, and want this autographed copy, I would request that you hold a contest of your own to give away your unsigned extra copy after you win.
Note #3: Although the riddles have to do with the book, you can solve it without owning the book by using Google Books.
But first my own review, and then at the very bottom of this post you will find the DAY THREE RIDDLE:
DAY THREE…THE CRAFT:
Is this the entire cast from the book? Not by a long shot, but it is a good overview.
MY THOUGHTS ON LAWHEAD’S CRAFT:
Two things: The opening, the particulars, and the setting. Did I say two? Well, there are three kinds of people, those that can count, and those that can’t.
This is the most critical part of a book, because it, more than anything else (besides the cover) sells the book! And here Lawhead just outdid himself:
Had he but known that before the day was over he would discover the hidden dimensions of hte universe, Kit might have been better prepared. At least, he would have brought an umbrella.
This is so fun, hearkens a bit back to the Hobbit when Bilbo leave home unprepared for his journey, and also hints at things to come. It is the most excellent of openings, merging the normal day-to-day with the spectacular, mystery-filled world awaiting the reader.
Therefore, I know instantly I can trust Stephen to lead me on a grand adventure.
But before I move on, I do want to say something about the cover … in my opinion, it is excellent as well. It still catches my eye after months with the book, and I daresay it will help sell the novel.
I have heard that Stephen had a lot of issues with the publisher trying to get the cover right, and I dont’ know if he is fully satisfied with it, but I think it is top-notch.
Not only does it give us a hint of the skin map (did you know that Stephen Lawhead himself drew all those symbols on the cover? The artist took his work directly and included them!), but of the humanity of the original owner of the map (the eye, in my opinion, represents Arthur). And the man, Kit, running along ley-line between two worlds is also excellent … Egypt on the one hand, and London on the other.
Anyway, on to point two…
One thing that marks a great writer is an attention to detail. Here is my favorite passage that exemplifies this:
While his companions slurped down the soup, he looked around the room at his fellow diners: all men, and all wearing the same dark wool clothing with minor variations. All sported elaborate lace neckwear and a marvellous profusion of beards. This, Kit decided, was really where they splashed out. Indeed, the general population seemed to be in some sort of tonsorial competition to see who could achieve the most outlandish whiskers. Judging form the results on display, the contest was at a highly advanced stage.
There were men with sideburns so think it looked as if they were peeping out from behind a scrubby bush; others with moustaches that had long since covered their mouths and threatened to engulf their chins; there were pointed beard,s pencil-thin beards, ornately sculpted beards, goatees, and full-blown Father Time beards. Several had immaculately pin-curled their facial hair, and one especially hirsute fellow had grown his neck hair long and brushed it upward to meet his face, rather than vice versa. Kit ran his fingers over his own scruffy growth and knew himself to be something of a pitiful specimen to the others.
Ha-ha! I can put myself right in this scene. It is fantastic.
And so, now for point three…
I won’t cite a particular passage here, but one of the marks of a Lawhead book is that he visits ALL the places he writes about, and you can tell. This is why he moved to England in the first place! So, whether we are in Prague, London, the Black-Mixen-Tump, or Egypt—he has been there.
This means that his descriptions of the setting are marvelous, accurate, and ring so true that you just keep reading. He is very careful to make sure you “stay in the story”.
My recommendation? Buy this book! Kindle version, Parchment version, Hardcover, any version you can find, or you will be kicking yourself years from now that you didn’t get a first edition copy of this excellent series!
For instance, I have the first editions of his SONG OF ALBION trilogy, and they are a treasure on my bookshelf. You don’t want to miss this one!
And even if you have a copy, make sure to enter my contest for AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF THE SKIN MAP! There are very few of these around the country, and I don’t know anyone who is giving them away. Also, Stephen, to my knowledge, has returned to Oxford, England, and so unless you have a time machine or a handy ley-line (jk), this is your only option!
Robert with Stephen Lawhead, his son, Ross, and wife, Alice.
WIN AN AUTOGRAPHED “THE SKIN MAP” CONTEST:
Remember … you have to take some part in the discussion each day, and also contact me with the solutions to the three riddles before 8AM CST tomorrow 11/4/2010:
RIDDLE…DAY THREE: The following are chapter #’s from the book. If you take the very first letter from each of the chapters (ignoring the “In which” phrase), you will get a a sentence of seven words. What does it say?
Note: If you don’t have the book, take a look at Google Books, find THE SKIN MAP, and then search for “chapter”, and you should be able to solve the riddle. I tested it and it worked for me.
(And for you riddlers that took part in The Skin Map national treasure hunt, I know I’m giving away a lot about how to solve this clue, but I didn’t want to make it impossible for those that are new to this sort of thing.)
DISCUSSION…DAY THREE: Which short passage from the book represents excellent craft to you? You are allowed to type it out as long as it is short, but you can just refer to it if you like. Mine are listed above.
BUT … if you haven’t read The Skin Map, you can submit an example of excellent craft from any of SRL’s other books … or if you’ve never read any of his work, tell me why you’d like to have this book.
Thanks, everyone, for taking part in the book give-away!
Note, spoliers are allowed in the comments, so read at your own risk.
And don’t forget to visit the other members of the tour: